Monthly Archives: June 2011
The Federal Government today announced it had met an important commitment, removing children from detention. But it is only some, the detaining of children will continue and some are still being held indefinitely.
“Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says there are currently 956 children asylum seekers in the detention system and 58 per cent are now living in community accommodation.
“The government has met this important commitment, with 531 children – both unaccompanied minors and those with family members – currently residing in community-based accommodation,” Mr Bowen said on Wednesday.”
But the real moral questions still remain. Why are we locking children up in the first place? What is stopping the government from releasing all minors from behind the razor wire and will the government follow through on its plan to deport unaccompanied minors to Malaysia?
The answer to the first question is political only. We simply do not need to detain children in detention! This is purely a result of the political games that have been played with innocent lives over the last decade or so. There is no practical reason for long term detention, they do not constitute a security risk and health checks can be conducted very quickly in almost every case. So politicians have imprisoned children because they believe we, the voters, support it. Do you?
The answer to why all children can’t be released is also simple, they have backed themselves into a corner that to release all children would be to admit the detaining of them in the first place was immoral. There are many NGO’s willing to take on unaccompanied minors, others are with their mothers who could be settled in the community, while many require immediate health care for both physical and mental issues. Their continuing detention makes their health worse…, so not only are we imprisoning them, exposing them to a jail like environment, we are also creating health complications that will not disappear. Not for the child, not for the health sector that will face the burden and not for the tax payer who simply foots the bill. If for no other reason, economically this is wrong. But if you have to go that far to prove the argument about a child’s needs, economics, then we lost the moral high ground long ago.
Lastly we confront an issue that is about to smack this country right across the face. With the “Malaysian solution” comes the news that unaccompanied minors will be sent to the refugee camps of Malaysia. They will be afforded no rights under Malaysian law, they will not be able to legal travel, work or seek health care. They will be children, exported by Australia, to a country were young girls face a lifetime inside the under world trade of child sex slaves. They have committed no crime, they or perhaps their parents uprooted them from countries where they already faced great danger and now, on their own, we a nation of great wealthy will send them to certain rape.
Turn your head if you will, say it ain’t so. But then look at your own children, look at the children you know or in your street and ask would it be ok for them? It most certainly would not be. Nor would we do the same to a little Jane, Jenny or Jill. This issue has an element of racism that cannot be ignored. It is also an issue of politics, socio-economic issues, morality and international conflicts. But jailing innocent children? Sending them into sex slavery?
Politicians believe you are OK with this or at least apathetic enough in numbers they will get away with it. Are you?
After more than 30 years, a uranium-rich piece of Aboriginal land near Kakadu National Park has been added to the World Heritage List.
The 1,228-hectare site, known as Koongarra, was added to the register during a meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Paris.
The French nuclear energy company Areva, which owns mining licences in the area, had unsuccessfully asked the committee to remove Koongarra from its agenda.
Koongarra is important Aboriginal land but was originally excluded from the park in 1979 because of its potential uranium resources.
Australian Conservation Foundation chief executive Don Henry says it is the end of a long fight to protect it from uranium mining.
“Kakadu is beloved by many Australians,” he said.
“This is right beside the famous Nourlangie Rock area and it’s a great tribute to Jeffrey Lee, the traditional owner who’s called for its protection to look after his own country, but it’s a great gift for all Australians.”
Environment Minister Tony Burke welcomed the decision, saying it will help protect Koongarra for generations to come.
There are some legal steps the Government will need to finalise before Koongarra is officially included as part of Kakadu National Park.
It means the area will be fully protected under law and mining prohibited.
Western Bulldogs forward Justin Sherman admits he racially vilified a Gold Coast Suns opponent in AFL.
Sherman and his unidentified victim have been part of a conciliation meeting and settled on today.
Former Brisbane Lion Sherman admitted he racially vilified an opposition player and apologised, AFL football operations manager Adrian Anderson said.
Sherman will attend an education program, serve a four-match suspension to cover rounds 15-18 and make a donation of $5000 to the charity nominated by the Suns.
Anderson said no person involved in the conciliation agreement, the AFL, Western Bulldogs or Gold Coast may publicly identify the Suns player involved.
More news as it breaks.
While we are now aware of the name of the player who was racial vilified we will not publish it. Mainstream media outlets have chosen to do so, despite this not being the wish of the victim. So in respecting him we will not follow the lead of the press who do not know when some thing should go unsaid.
What would will say is that this young man has handled himself exceptionally well in very trying and difficult circumstances. He agreed to be part of the mediation process and his actions have played a vital role in ensuring this issue is dealt with in the most effective way. The AFL is also to be congratulated for taking swift action, ensuring the fine money will go to charity and protecting the victim. The media could learn a little! Racism, it’s just NOT ok!
Kev Carmody talks about his great friend Paul Kelly and the story behind their ground breaking song.
Black and white making deadly music!
See the song in our music section.
Please look to your right, see our socialvibe banner, click it and help Ugandan children get an education.
Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe is down with socialvibe, we invite you to be too! You don’t have to donate a cent, simply click the link to your right and do a few short online activities. Most take less than 20seconds. Is that too much of your time for a child’s education? Empowering people to empower themselves and their communities.
We are also working with Socialvibe to connect with Australian charities, STAY TUNED!
Stolen generation man wins compensation
Almost everything Neville Austin has ever wanted is contained in a one-page letter he received this week from the Victorian government.
Mr Austin, 47, who was separated from his mother in 1964, is the first victim of the stolen generation in Victoria to gain compensation.
His settlement includes an undisclosed amount of money, but it is the state’s written expression of “true apology and deep regret” that means the most.
Read more below:
Disturbingly there is the usual racist comments made, particularly on some news agency websites, that go un-moderated or are posted on moderated blogs and new sites. In 2011 it is unacceptable that major news agencies allow their websites to be the place of racism, intolerance and hate. The fact that some are unable to disagree with a position without resorting to purely racist rants puts into serious question the validity of both the argument being made and the forum in which racism is allowed to flow so freely.
AUSTRALIAN-born, American-raised basketball prodigy Kyrie Irving was today selected No1 in the NBA draft.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, as expected, used their first pick to grab the prized 19-year-old point guard, who was born in Melbourne and played just one year of college basketball at Duke University.
“I’m looking forward to getting to Cleveland and it feels good to finally put a hat on,” said the 188cm tall Irving, wearing a Cavaliers’ cap.
Irving was born in Melbourne in 1992 while his American father, Drederick, a former star at Boston University, was playing for north east Melbourne club Bulleen Boomers.
Irving spent just the first two years of his life in Australia before his family moved back to America, but has dual Australian-US citizenship.
Last year a cartoon by Cairo Modoo-Loy, Year 10, Darwin High School, won 1st prize for Years 10–12 for the National Museum of Australia political cartoon competition.
It is a timely reminder that 98% of we Australian’s can trace our roots to people who arrived largely by boat and only more recently by plane. All, including those seeking refuge today, did so for the most part lawfully. There is no queue and there are no queue jumpers. This is an established fact in International law which allows any person, from any nation, to seek asylum in any country they wish. The law also states that nations must process these applications speedily and house those awaiting a decision in humane and safe accommodation. (UDHR, UNHCR).
To believe those seeking refuge on our shores are “illegal” is flatly incorrect, it is not at all in line with the law and simply allows politicians who cynically exploit this issue to distract us all from the pressing issues of the day. We can accommodate the very small percentage of people world wide who come here seeking asylum. And in forcing our politicians to deal with this issue responsibly, it frees the political climate up for the real issues. The environment, the economy, health care, education and the issues that really impact on us all everyday. When was the last time a refugee really made your day any harder?
And if you are proud to say your family can trace it’s roots to the earlier settlers of this nation, coming aboard vessels from the UK, be proud that they too were refugees!